iPhone Life magazine

CES of THINGS: Low-Tech & No-Tech Surprises

It's easy to find high tech wonders at CES, but I have a particular affinity for items that are low tech or no tech... In other words, items that have no battery, no wires, and no chips but still manage to make our high tech lives better.

People always ask me what to get the person who has everything. My response? Something to hold it in! If you have tons of gadgets, as I do, you're always looking for the right bag, case, or container. Fortunately, CES was full of such gear.Cellfy is a play on the word selfie, and they offer several accessories for your iPhone or iPad. Through clever use of numerous suction cups, you attach your iPhone or iPad to the Cellfy Stic ($9.99), and use suction cups on the reverse side to attach the Cellfy Stic to a flat surface. This could be useful to watch a movie on a plane, in a car, or even the bathroom! They offer models for tablets and phones and should work with just about any device and a flat surface.

Cellfy also offers a novel mini-gadget bag that has a microfiber lining to keep your screen clean, and can mount on your belt with the included belt loop, or on a backpack strap, or just about anywhere, with, you guessed it, a suction cup! It's like the Swiss Army knife of phone bags!

Another way to carry your phone around is with HipKlips ($30). These are fashionable hip-mounted 'sleeves' that can hold a smartphone, naturally, but also a passport and similar items. The pouch clips to your clothing or belt using clips similar to how those of us who grew up in cold regions used to attatch our mittens to a winter jacket!

HipKlips are available in a wide variety of materials and colors, so you should be able to match your wardrobe choices!

The folks who demo'ed the HipKlips have another low-tech accessory for holding your phone. The Smart Phone Holder from their Hercules Holder line fits in a cup holder and offers a ton of ways to support your phone or GPS unit, inert rapt or landscape mode. There is hidden storage in the bottom for earbuds and they offer numerous ways to route your charging cable. The Hercules Holder is a lightweight but solid foam accessory that will compete for the space in your cup holder!

But what if you want to hold your iPhone in your hand? The iRing from AAUXX is essentially a nice key ring connected to an adhesive backing that applies to your iPhone, or a flat-backed case.

In addition to letting you insert your finger in the key ring to keep a good grip on your phone, you can position the key ring as a support stand for FaceTime and viewing movies, etc. The iRing is a low-cost, low-tech way to enhance your iPhone's grip and viewability!

Now that you've got your hands on your iPhone, you're bound to get fingerprints on it. There are a lot of screen cleaner options out there, but most use alcohol. ScreenCleaner2go is a 100-percent organic cleaning solution, in spray or wipe form, that is free of alcohol, ammonia, and other chemicals. Such chemicals can be abrasive and penetrate the touch screen, causing fading and degradation. Those screens can be damaged and are expensive to replace.

In fact, with any screen cleaner spray, you should spray a microfiber cloth and use that cloth to clean the device. Do not spray directly on the screen. If you go organic when grocery shopping, why not do the same with your screen cleaner with ScreenCleaner2go?

Finally, the last no-tech gadget that impressed me was the TactSlider Touch Screen Game Controller. It's no secret that Apple has revolutionized the handheld gaming industry, but it is still hard to play games designed for a joystick on the touchscreen. The Tactslider is a thin, non-permanent stick-on controller that gives you tactile control for games like FIFA, Soul Caliber, NBA Jam and more. There have been other attempts at such a controller, but I like that the Tactslider uses a metal disc in the center and comes with a case that you can stick on the back of your phone or phone case for when the controller is not in use. Get ready for higher scores with the Tactslider!

The best things in life, or at CES, are not necessarily electronic and these are indeed some of the best!

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is founder of No Tie Software, an app developer specializing in Ringtones and Sound FX including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.